Saturday, June 27, 2009

Fenelon ~

I beg you not to listen to the self. Self-love whispers in one ear and the love of God in the other. Self-love is always worthless, aggressive, grasping, and impulsive. But the love of God is so different. It is simple, peaceful, and speaks but a few words in a mild and gentle voice. And the moment we decide to start listening to the voice of self screeching its complaints in our ear, we can no longer hear the more modest whisperings of divine love. You can always tell when the self is speaking. Self always wants to entertain itself and never feels sufficiently well attended to. It talks of friendship, regard, esteem, and does not wish to hear anything that is not flattering. The love of God, on the other hand, desires that self should be forgotten, that it should be counted as nothing, that God might be all in all. God knows that is best for us when self is trampled under foot and broken as an idol, in order that He might live within us, and make us after His will. So let that vain, complaining babbler-- self love-- be silenced, that in the stillness of the soul we may listen to God.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Uplifted is the stone

Uplifted is the stone --
And all mankind is risen --
We all remain thine own.
And vanished is our prison.
All troubles flee away
Thy golden bowl before,
For Earth and Life give way
At the last and final supper.

To the marriage Death doth call --
The virgins standeth back --
The lamps burn lustrous all --
Of oil there is no lack --
If the distance would only fill
With the sound of you walking alone
And that the stars would call
Us all with human tongues and tone.

Unto thee, O Mary
A thousand hearts aspire.
In this life of shadows
Thee only they desire.
In thee they hope for delivery
With visionary expectation --
If only thou, O holy being
Could clasp them to thy breast.

With bitter torment burning,
So many who are consumed
At last from this world turning
To thee have looked and fled,
Helpful thou hast appeared
To so many in pain.
Now to them we come,
To never go out again.

At no grave can weep
Any who love and pray.
The gift of Love they keep,
From none can it be taken away.
To soothe and quiet his longing,
Night comes and inspires --
Heaven's children round him thronging
Watch and guard his heart.

Have courage, for life is striding
To endless life along;
Stretched by inner fire,
Our sense becomes transfigured.
One day the stars above
Shall flow in golden wine,
We will enjoy it all,
And as stars we will shine.

The love is given freely,
And Separation is no more.
The whole life heaves and surges
Like a sea without a shore.
Just one night of bliss --
One everlasting poem --
And the sun we all share
Is the face of God.

~Novalis (1772-1801)

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Song of Light

O I would be as clear as air
And I would be as water clear
That lovely light may shine through me
On shadowed ignorance and fear.

How can I think? how can I hope,
How can I dream that this may be,
I who am dull within the flesh
And clouded with mortality?

How can I dare to ask at all,
Who knows such glory burns away
Through doubt, and terror, and doom, and tears
Into the everlasting day?

O strong Eternal Light because
I love the radiance that I fear,
Let me become as clear as air
And let me be like water clear.

~Marguerite Wilkinson

Sunday, June 21, 2009

An Hymn

Drop, drop slow tears,
And bathe those beauteous feet
Which brought from heav'n
The news and prince of peace.
Cease not, wet eyes,
His mercies to entreat;
To cry for vengeance
Sin doth never cease;
In your deep floods
Drown all my faults and fears,
Nor let his eye
See sin but through my tears.

~ Phineas Fletcher

Saturday, June 20, 2009

How Many Heavens ~

How Many Heavens ...

The emeralds are singing on the grasses
And in the trees the bells of the long cold are ringing, --
My blood seems changed to emeralds like the spears
Of grass beneath the earth piercing and singing.

The flame of the first blade
Is an angel piercing through the earth to sing
"God is everything!
The grass within the grass, the angel in the angel, flame
Within the flame, and He is the green shade that came
To be the heart of shade."

The grey-beard angel of the stone,
Who has grown wise with age, cried "Not alone
Am I within my silence"... then, above the glade

The yellow straws of light
Whereof the sun has built his nest, cry "Bright
Is the world, the yellow straw
My brother, -- God is the straw within the straw: -- All
things are Light."

He is the sea of ripeness and the sweet apple's emerald lore.
So you my flame of grass, my root of the world from
which all Spring shall grow,
Or you, my hawthorn bough of the stars, now leaning low
Through the day, for your flowers to kiss my lips,
shall know
He is the core of the heart of love, and He, beyond
labouring seas, our ultimate shore.

~Dame Edith Sitwell

Friday, June 19, 2009

Lines for a Drawing of Our Lady of the Night ~

This could I paint my inward sight,
This were Our Lady of the Night;

She bears on her front's lucency
The starlight of her purity:

For as the white rays of that star
The union of all colours are,

She sums all the virtues that may be
In her sweet light of purity.

The mantle which she holds on high
Is the great mantle of the sky.

Think O sick toiler, when the night
Comes on thee, sad and infinite,

Think sometimes 'tis our own Lady
Spreads her blue mantle over thee,

And folds the earth a wearied thing,
Beneath its gentle shadowing;

Then rest a little; and in sleep
Forget to weep! Forget to weep!

~Francis Thompson

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mary's Girlhood

This is that blessed Mary, pre-elect
God's Virgin. Gone is a great while, and she
Dwelt young in Nazareth of Galilee.
Unto God's will she brought devout respect,
Profound simplicity of intellect,
And supreme patience. From her mother's knee
Faithful and hopeful; wise in charity;
Strong in grave peace; in pity circumspect.
So held she through her girlhood; as it were
An angel-watered lily, that near God
Grows and is quiet. Till, one dawn at home
She woke in her white bed, and had no fear
At all, - yet wept till sunshine, and felt awed:
Because the fulness of the time was come.

These are the symbols. On that cloth of red
I' the centre is the Tripoint: perfect each,
Except the second of its points, to teach
That Christ is not yet born. The books - whose head
Is golden Charity, as Paul hath said -
Those virtues are wherein the soul is rich:
Therefore on them the lily standeth, which
Is Innocence, being interpreted.

The seven-thorn'd briar and the palm seven-leaved
Are her great sorrow and her great reward.
Until the end be full, the Holy One
Abides without. She soon shall have achieved
Her perfect purity: yea, God the Lord
Shall soon vouchsafe His Son to be her Son.

art and poem by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Wild Blossoms

No lilies all for milk,
Nor roses rich in blood,
Can settle my best thoughts
to browse in solitude.
But where the primrose grows,
Primrose and violet
In their first, happy state
No mortal hand has set.
Where these wild blossoms grow
All in the grass and moss--
I'll raise my hand, O Lord
With a sign of the Cross.

~W. H. Davies

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Quiet Way

It was a quiet way --
He asked if I was his --
I made no answer of the Tongue
But answer of the Eyes --
And then He bore me on
Before this mortal noise
With swiftness, as of Chariots
And distance, as of Wheels.
This World did drop away
As Acres from the feet
Of one that leaneth from Balloon
Upon an Ether street.
The Gulf behind was not,
The Continents were new --
Eternity it was before
Eternity was due.
No Seasons were to us --
It was not Night nor Morn --
But Sunrise stopped upon the place
And fastened it in Dawn.

~Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

For Our Lady of the Rocks

Mother, is this the darkness of the end,
The Shadow of Death? and is that outer sea
Infinite imminent Eternity?
And does the death-pang by man's seed sustained
In Time's each instant cause thy face to bend
Its silent prayer upon the Son, while He
Blesses the dead with His hand silently
To His long day which hours no more offend?

Mother of grace, the pass is difficult,
Keen are these rocks, and the bewildered souls
Throng it like echoes, blindly shuddering through.
Thy name, O Lord, each spirit's voice extols,
Whose peace abides in the dark avenue
Amid the bitterness of things occult.

~ Dante Gabriel Rossetti

art, Leonardo Da Vinci

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


(Words of the Angel)

You are not nearer to God than we,
and we are far at best,
yet through your hands most wonderfully
his glory's manifest.
From woman's sleeves none ever grew
so ripe, so shimmeringly;
I am the day, I am the dew,
you, Lady, are the Tree.

Pardon, now my long journey's done,
I had forgot to say
what he who sat as in the sun,
grand in his gold array,
told me to tell you, pensive one
(space has bewildered me).
I, the beginner, have begun,
you, Lady, are the Tree.

I spread my wings out wide and rose,
the space around grew less;
your little house quite overflows
with my abundant dress.
But still you keep your solitude
and hardly notice me;
I'm but a breeze within the wood,
you, Lady, are the Tree.

The angels tremble in their choir,
grow pale, and separate:
never were longing and desire
so vague and yet so great.
Something perhaps is going to be
that you perceived in dream.
Hail to you! for my soul can see
that you are ripe and teem.
You lofty gate, that any day
may open for our good:
your ear my longing songs assay,
my word- I know now- lost its way
in you as in a wood.

And thus your last dream was designed
to be fulfilled by me.
God looked at me: he made me blind...

You, lady, are the Tree.

~Rainer Maria Rilke
(trans by JB Leishman)

featured art-- Domenico Beccafumi

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Growing ~

Lilies in a stained glass window
are beautiful,
so are saints.
The light shines through them
and they glow.
They have about them a serene perfection
like eternity's.

Lord, I don't want to be a flower in a
stained glass window,
or even a saint,
Lord let my flowering be
more like a daisy's
or even a dandelion 's
growing in a dusty field,
but growing...

~ J D Freeman

Monday, June 8, 2009

There is a Brokenness

There is a brokenness
out of which comes the unbroken,
a shatteredness out
of which blooms the unshatterable.

There is a sorrow
beyond all grief which leads to joy
and a fragility
out of whose depths emerges strength.

There is a hollow space
too vast for words
through which we pass with each loss,
out of whose darkness
we are sanctioned into being.

There is a cry deeper than all sound
whose serrated edges cut the heart
as we break open
to the place inside which is unbreakable
and whole,
while learning to sing.


Friday, June 5, 2009

Worship ~

All beauty seems regathered and reborn
Thou art that rose whose garden is the morn,
The pearl whose beauty haunts the dreamland sea,
And that romance whose immortality
Endures our dreary planet but in scorn;
For thee the lyres of Eden wait forlorn
Ere yet thy coming set their music free.

In what sincerity can I defend
Mine art's insistence of thy loveliness,
Tho' such be but the mortal shadow thrown
By soul on flesh! Before its light I bend
As one who holds his kindred none the less,
Yet who has worship for one face alone.

~ George Sterling, (1869-1926)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Mind Can Never Understand

The mind can never understand how Love,
By Love sees all the way to the Beloved's depths,
Sees how freely Love lives in everything.
When your soul has come to this freedom
You will no longer fear life or death.
Your soul wants the whole of Love,
And nothing else.

~Hadewijch (1250-?)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Star of the Sea

Cover Me with the Night

Come Lord,
and cover me with the night.
Spread your grace over us
as you assured us you would.
Your promises are more than
all the stars in the sky;
your mercy is deeper than the night.
Lord, it will be cold.
The night comes with its breath of death.
Night comes; the end comes; you come.
Lord we will wait for you
day and night.

Monday, June 1, 2009


I cannot dance, O Lord,
Unless You lead me.
If You wish me to leap joyfully, 
First You must dance and sing--

Then I will leap into Love--
And from Love into Knowledge,
And from Knowledge into Fulfillment,
A harvest of sweet fulfillment beyond human sense.

There I will stay with You, circling
and circling

~Mechthild of Magdeburg (1212-1282)

About Me

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Therefore, dear Sir, love your solitude and try to sing out with the pain it causes you. For those who are near you are far away... and this shows that the space around you is beginning to grow vast.... be happy about your growth, in which of course you can't take anyone with you, and be gentle with those who stay behind; be confident and calm in front of them and don't torment them with your doubts and don't frighten them with your faith or joy, which they wouldn't be able to comprehend. Seek out some simple and true feeling of what you have in common with them, which doesn't necessarily have to alter when you yourself change again and again; when you see them, love life in a form that is not your own and be indulgent toward those who are growing old, who are afraid of the aloneness that you trust.... and don't expect any understanding; but believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.”  ~ Rainer Maria Rilke